weather channel

IBM is closing in on a deal to acquire the digital assets of Weather Co in a deal valued at about $2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The deal would encompass the digital and data units of the Atlanta-based company but not the Weather Channel cable network. A rep for Weather declined comment late Tuesday.

Weather Co., owned by NBCUniveral and investment banks Bain and Blackstone, put itself on the block this summer. The company has been buffeted by pressure from cable operators who have balked at paying higher fees for the channel at a time when weather data is widely available online.

Weather Channel also embarked two years ago on an effort to add reality and docu series to its programming mix, which became a point of contention with some MVPDs.

Nonetheless Weather Channel has one of the most widely distributed weather apps, which is the draw for IBM. The Journal also reported that IBM is keenly interested in its weather-forecasting operation. Weather CEO David Kenny is expected to join IBM.

NBCUniversal and its partners acquired Weather for $3.5 billion in 2008. The cable channel has operated separately from the rest of NBCU’s cablers.

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